Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Things are tough all over

The news is full of local and state governments trying to make ends meet. Luzerne County is raising taxes, borrowing yet more money and laying off workers to deal with years of mismanagement and the economic downturn. Mayor Tom Leighton has proposed a budget for Wilkes-Barre that increases fees and jacks up every tax that can be raised. And my little burgh of Plains Township will be increasing the property tax despite all the millions that Mohegan Sun Casino has pumped into our coffers. I have some questions about that and it will be the subject of a future post.

Mayor Lou Barletta is taking an axe to the City of Hazleton's budget trying to avoid a tax increase. He is about $900,000 short of balancing the city's $9 million budget and is proposing to close the gap by canceling a 3% pay raise for employees and requiring them to contribute toward their health care plan. He is also proposing going after people who have not paid the garbage fee and businesses that have not paid the mercantile tax.

With all these hundreds of billions of dollars being thrown around by the Feds to bail out banks, Wall Street investment firms and Auto companies a few dollars to help out our local governments is not an unreasonable request.

Note: I had a chat with Mayor Lou yesterday and he agreed to an interview in the first week of the new year. Send me your questions for his Honor in the comments or email. I'll put up a reminder before we meet. Please keep it clean people.


Anonymous said...

G can you ask him about the benefits of the hispanic migration to hazleton and what he has done to help out the good law abiding immigrants.

He actually has a decent record on that front,

Anonymous said...

can we just let him fade into bolivian?

JudiPhilly said...

How much did the City of Hazelton pay in legal fees fighting his position on immigration and how has that impacted the budget shortfall?

Anonymous said...

right now they have pd. zero, but if they loose the appeal they will be on the hook for the plantiff's fees which up until the last hearing was around 2 million dollars.